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I love Martha Stewart’s “Living Magazine,” which is filled with the most inspired ideas for holiday décor, food and fun activities. On the other hand, there is probably not another magazine around that does more to lower my own personal self-esteem when I consider my world versus Martha’s. 

Yes, I know she has staff and assistants in double digits, but like Oprah, she is the centerpiece and the inspiration for it all. And I suspect that no one on Martha’s team can do anything better than Martha herself. 

Each month she publishes a calendar of her planned activities which I am sure she hopes will serve as an inspiration to help the rest of us get better organized and live a more productive and Martha-like life. Here are a few of her planned activities for fall and winter.

Sept. 1: Harvest apples and pears from personal orchard. Make applesauce, pear butter and dried apple rings. Weave peelings into elaborate chains to dry and use as Christmas décor. Paint barn and change oil in tractor. Apply decorative stencils to feed troughs. Select a pattern that will be well received by the animals. 

Sept. 25: Put up deer fencing around property in a decorative style. Gather the 27 outdoor urns and all 59 terra-cotta pots. Store them in alphabetical order by proper flora name in potting shed after installing winter insulation.

Oct. 1: Replace all screens with storm windows. Use engraving tool to label which screens go with which windows. Install heat lamps and water heaters in chicken coop. Order HBO to keep them entertained. Sew little (faux) fur coats for those with skimpy feathers. Leave off rhinestone buttons (remember what happened last year). 

Oct. 31: Dress the dogs, cats and chickens in their Halloween costumes and take them to trick or treat at the neighbors’ homes. Take camera. Unwrap candy for those willing to wait. Brush everyone’s teeth. 

Nov. 1: Plan trip to cranberry bog to harvest berries. Gather stems to weave into Christmas wreaths. Note to self: toss rubber boots, bring hip waders and/or life vest. Those are some deep bogs.

Thanksgiving: Reserve turkey carcass. Pick clean. Boil in bleach solution and dry thoroughly. Gild with gold paint. Wire for light bulbs, creating a one-of-a-kind chandelier. I’ll bet Joanna Gaines on “Fixer Upper” never thought of this one.

Nov. 28: Create original Christmas cards for all 5,000 of my dearest friends and associates. Into a wash tub, dump 50 pounds of paper pulp, adding natural berries, fruits and leaves for color. Compose unique message for each in iambic pentameter.

Dec. 1: Sharpen axe. Attach flatbed to Mercedes. Visit private Christmas tree farm and select 12 splendid specimens. Cut and load. Decorate the trees inside the house, using ornaments made from 75 balls of twine which have been crocheted into intricate snowflakes, none of which have the same pattern. 

Dec. 3: Mail Christmas cards using individually selected U.S. Postal stamps representing America’s unsung heroes: the inventor of the self-adhesive label, R. Stanton Avery; Hildaur Neilsen, who invented the Rolodex; and the granddaddy of them all, George Schultz, who invented the hot glue gun. 

Dec. 15: Plan holiday soiree for my 500 best friends. I do believe Barack will be available this year. 

Dec. 31: A whole new year awaits, and with it the challenge of just how many more ways I can use my new electric vegetable spiralizer? Begone boring veggies, Martha’s on her way.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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